Often I am at a loss for words to pray. When we see so many needs around us, some that seem so complicated and impossible to meet, problems that, short of a miracle, seem to have no solutions, it can be difficult to pray anything more than a short, “Lord please help”.
The model of prayer Jesus gives us is such a practical help in guiding our conversations with him.
It has blessed me to hear how in Luke 11, it was after seeing Jesus pray that the disciples went to him and said “teach us to pray, like John the Baptist taught his disciples”. So praying is something to be taught. Yes it’s conversation, yes it should flow naturally, spiritually, and yes, it is something we can be taught.
The model prayer Jesus gave us in Luke 11 and Matthew 6 very practically covers every area of our lives.
God, you are our father. You gave us life. You are not just father, you are Abba, you are Daddy. You care for us, not against us, more than we know. If an earthly father knows how to give a good gift to his child, how much more do you? You are “our” father. We have an intimate relationship, a friendship, yes, and even more so, a care, a shelter, under your wings. Thank you Father. This also means we are your children, and we approach you as children, with that simplicity of faith that Jesus said is needed in order to see the kingdom of heaven.
Who art in heaven
Yes you are in heaven. And yes, heaven is right here. Jesus, you yourself said it, the kingdom of heaven is among you. We are, as your inheritance, even the temple of the Holy Spirit. You are among us, in us, and your kingdom is taking hold here on earth.
Hollowed be Your name
Your great name is holy. Set apart. To be revered. Respected. Your name is more than letters on paper. It is more than sound. It represents you, it is a reminder of your character, of who you are. You have many names in your scriptures some of which I can never forget. You are my provider, Jehovah Jireh. You are with me, God with us, Immanuel. You are a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe. You are the Lion and the Lamb. You are the Lord my righteousness, my banner, my healer, my redeemer, my Saviour. How precious is your name to me. What a perfect “reset” for my wandering thoughts, to remember and know, you are good and your love endures forever. You are the Bread of Life.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven
Lord here I ask for your kingdom to come into this situation I am concerned about, and for your will to be done in it. I know that you have already said in your word, that your followers, your children, are ambassadors in Christ. You are therefore working through us to accomplish your will. We are your body. Your hands, feet, mouth, ears, muscles, sweat and blood. We therefore ask for your Spirit’s filling and flowing in this situation and pray in faith, knowing that our heavenly father knows what needs we have before we even ask him, so when we ask we need not ask as if you hear us not. You do. And your will shall be done, and your kingdom is coming and spreading even now.
Give us this day our daily bread
Lord, you know we need bread to live. We ask you because we know where our food comes from. Thank you for providing. Lord, we also know you are the Bread of Life and so we feed on you. Your body indeed is food to us. You body and blood were given to purchase and save us but also to satisfy our deepest hunger and thirst. Thank you for feeding my innermost being through your all sufficient sacrifice. Your words are life, so Spirit, I trust you to briing to my memory the words God has spoken to me. I am also blown away by the example of Christ saying he needed no food, that his meat was to do the will of his Father. Doing your will is meat to me as well Lord. I delight in doing your will oh God. Teach me, Spirit, you are my greatest teacher. Counsel me please. Guide, convict, and help me examine myself daily. Grant me a word, a picture, a story, a parable, that fills my being with hope and direction. I love you Lord.
Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us
Lord, I know you bought me. I know I have been redeemed and seated in heavenly places in Christ, already. Past tense. Done. But I know that I still walk around with this “body of death” as Paul said. My “old man”, my flesh, still wants to do evil. But with your help Spirit, I reckon this carcass as indeed it is, dead, and powerless. I remind myself Lord, that I am a slave to righteousness, and not to sin. Lord, where I have trespassed, in action, thought, fear or doubt, forgive me. Thank you that you have already shown me the greatest act of love you could ever show me, by dying for me. You not only died for me, you saw me worth dying for. Your love is great. All of this is a mystery for now we see in part only, and that is ok. Even though there are moments when the tangible around me tries to overwhelm me, I know I am forgiven, a new creation, and and ambassador in your kingdom.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one
Lord, lead us far away from areas that would seek to pull us away. Lead us straightly into your will. When tempations are around, deliver us God. This is the true spritual warfare, You are to be called on to deliver us from evil, and from the evil one, Satan who comes to kill, steal and destroy. Lead us Father into your perfect will. Give us the strength and grace we need. Your word is a lamp unto our feet.
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you”. John 15